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Lecture 1

Introduction to
Biochemistry

What is Biochemistry?
Biochemistryis the study of the chemical
substances and vital processes occurring in living
organisms.
Biochemistry dealswiththerole,function,structure
and interactions of biological macromolecules such
asproteins,nucleicacids,carbohydratesandlipids
.

BiochemistryisaResearchDisciplineApplicableto
RealWorld
Medicine:Biochemistryisusefulinunderstandingthe
diseasesanddevelopmentofdrugs
Agriculture:Inagriculture,biochemistryusedtoenhanced
thecropproductivityandqualityofyield,e.g.genetically
modifiedfoods(GMF)
Nutrition:Thevalueofdifferentfoodsources
(plants/animals)canbeexaminedandtheirsuitabilityfor
nutritionalbenefitsisassessed

Biochemistrycanbedividedintothreeareasofstudy
Conformational-structureandthree-dimensionalarrangements
ofbiomolecules.
Metabolismenergyproductionandutilization
Informational-languageforcommunicationinsideandbetween
cells

Biochemistryseekstodescribethestructure,organization,
andfunctionoflivingorganismsinmolecularterms
In order to understand the life on the molecular level,
you must first have a:
Knowledgeofthechemicalstructuresofthebiological
molecules
Understandingofthebiologicalfunctionofthemolecules
Understandingofbioenergeticsthestudyofenergyflow
incells

TheChemicalCompositionofBiomolecules
H, O, C and N make up 99+% of atoms in the human
body
ELEMENT
PERCENTAGE
Oxygen
63

Hydrogen

25.2
Carbon
9.5

Nitrogen
1.4
Hydrogen,Carbon,OxygenandNitrogencompriseover99%of
themassinmostcells
Theseelementsarethebackboneofbiomoleculesbecausethey
arecapableofformingstrongcovalentbonds
Chemical reactions that occur inside the cell are the same that
occur outside the cell

BiomoleculesareCarbonCompounds
orOrganicCompounds
Carbonatomscanfromsingle,doubleandtriplebonds
Moreimportantly,asinglecarbonatomcanformsinglebondswithupto
fourothercarbonatoms
Covalentlylinkedcarbonatomscanformlinearchains,branchedchains
andcyclicstructures
Covalentbondsarethegluethatholdscompoundstogether

Functional Groups
Groupsofotheratomsthatareattachedtothecarbonbackbone
Determinethechemicalproperties/diversityofthebiomolecules

Basic Structure of Biomolecules


LargeBiomoleculesaregenerallypolymersofsimplerbiomolecularunitsor
micromolecules
BiologicalMicromolecules
Nucleotide
Aminoacid
Carbohydrate
Lipid
BiologicalMacromolecules
NucleicAcids
Proteins
Polysaccharides

Biological Micro-molecules Macromolecules

Organelles, cells and organisms


Biomolecules tend to cluster together, forming increasing more
complex structures

Cell membranes - lipid/protein


Chromatin - DNA/protein
Ribosomes - RNA/protein
Cytoskeleton - fibrous protein structure
Viruses - assemblages of a DNA or RNA strand wrapped in a
protein package

Organelles, cells and organisms

Prokaryotes - Bacteria
Simplest Living System
Prokaryotes are unicellular
Prokaryotes generally have one cellular
membrane.
The interior is known as the cytoplasm

Eukaryotes
Eucaryotes are multicellular
Organelles

Table 1.4 Summary of Organelles and Their Function


Organelle
Nucleus

Function
Location of main genome; site of most
DNA and RNA synthesis

Mithochondrian

Site of energy-yielding oxidation reactions;


has its own DNA

Chloroplast

Site of photosynthesis in green plants and


algae; has its own DNA

Endoplasmic reticulum

Continuous membrane throughout the cell;


rough part studded with ribosomes (the site
of protein synthesis)

Golgi apparatus

Series of flattened membranes; involved in


secretion of proteins from cells and in
reactions that link sugar to other cellular
components

Lysozymes

Membrane-bounded sacs containing


hydrolytic enzymes

Peroxisomes

Sacs that contain enzymes involved in the


metabolism of hydrogen peroxide

Cell membrane

Separates the cell contents from the


outside world; contents include organelles
(held in place by the cyctoskeleton*) and
the cytosol

Cell wall

Rigid exterior layer of plant cells

Central vacuole

Membrane-bounded sac (plant cells)

Biochemist are concerned everything!!!


Biochemistlookat
Theatomiclevel
Thestructurelevel
Thecellularlevel
Theroleofthecellintheorganism
Communication
Celltocell
Biomoleculetobiomolecule
Metaboliccoordination